PETA and the US federal agents fight cub petting together after Netflix’s “Tiger King”. This hitseries burst into a new world of pandemic streaming. It gave viewers exotic animals, personal and professional drama. And a man with a mullet’s attempt to launch a political career in Oklahoma.
Years before the theatrics, a legal showdown was brewing. It was between zoo owners featured in the show and animal activist groups. The latter wanted to shut down the cub-petting industry with the help of the federal government.
Jeffrey Lowe and Timothy Stark separated endangered tiger cubs from their mothers. At a too early an age to create photo opportunities with a paying public. This was according to groups as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Big cats at Stark’s zoo, Wildlife In Need, were confined in “woefully inadequate enclosures” and declawed in “medically unnecessary procedures,” PETA told the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in 2017. Stark instructed employees to “hit cubs with riding crops,” and told customers to hit the animals if they reacted negatively to public handling, according to the complaint.
Now the federal government is taking a similar position, which is a new threat to the cub-petting industry.
The full article was published by Bloomberg Law on April 12, 2021.